Funds will support Adventure Cycling Association’s ongoing organizing efforts and technical assistance to establish U.S. Bicycle Routes
Missoula, Montana — Adventure Cycling Association’s third annual Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign raised more than $50,000 for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) during National Bike Month (May 2012).
Using a combination of social media tools and traditional fundraising methods, engaging a group of volunteer fundraisers, and leveraging funds from a diverse roster of business sponsors and community organizations, campaign organizers reached out to cyclists across America to inspire support for the creation of an official national bike-route network. Hours spent in front of computers blogging, tweeting, and updating statuses paid off, with the campaign reaching its goal in the final hours of May 31.
Adventure Cycling raised $14,500 in donations from business sponsors, which included Adventure Center, Giant, Primal Wear, Stan’s No Tubes, TeamEstrogen.com, Sun Bicycles and Origin-8, Ortlieb, and WomanTours. Walz Caps, Razoo, Bikeflights.com, BOB Trailer, Brooks,Hans Bagworks, Moots, Osprey Packs, and Planet Bike provided in-kind support.
“We’re so grateful to all of the generous donors and business sponsors for their support of the U.S. Bicycle Route System,” said Development Director Amanda Lipsey. “These funds are essential to growing the USBRS. They will help us create a best practices guide to assist states implementing U.S. Bicycle Routes, and bring on additional staff support.” The organization continues to receive donations from members and supporters who give offline; a final tally of funds raised will be available in a couple of weeks.
In the midst of the campaign, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering approved two new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBR) during its spring meeting in Traverse City, Michigan: USBR 35 in Michigan and USBR 45 in Minnesota. It also approved several “realignments” (route changes) to USBR 1 in North Carolina. Last year, AASHTO approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes: USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBR 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska. These were the first official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be established since 1982.
The new routes and realignments are the direct result of years of work that followed the reinvigoration of AASHTO’s Task Force on U.S. Bicycle Routes in 2005. At that time, Adventure Cycling began providing dedicated staff support to the task force, working with AASHTO and other partners to organize and expand the dormant effort and develop technical guidelines for states wishing to implement routes. Presently, more than 40 states are working on U.S. Bicycle Routes.
AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A powerful voice in the transportation sector, its primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system. Securing approval from AASHTO is a required step for all U.S. Bicycle Routes.
“Section by section, this official national network of cycling routes is becoming a reality,” said Ginny Sullivan, special projects director and coordinator of the USBRS project at Adventure Cycling. “State and local transportation agencies are working collaboratively with the cycling and trail community to choose routes that will connect cyclists with the places to which they want to travel. It’s thrilling.”
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is an emerging national network of bicycle routes that cross and connect multiple states. These routes will serve as visible and well-planned trunk lines for connecting city, regional, and statewide cycling routes, and provide transportation and tourism opportunities across the country by including important scenic, historic, and other desirable destinations. A collaborative effort, the USBRS project involves officials and staff from state departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and nonprofits, including Adventure Cycling Association, the East Coast Greenway Alliance, and Mississippi River Trail, Inc.
In 2012, Adventure Cycling’s work on the U.S. Bicycle Route System is also supported by generous grants from the SRAM Cycling Fund, the Surdna Foundation, the Lazar Foundation, New Belgium Brewing, and the Michigan United Tandem Society.
Adventure Cycling Association inspires and empowers people to travel by bicycle. As North America’s largest nonprofit member-supported cycling organization with 45,000 members, Adventure Cycling enriches lives and connects communities by creating state-of-the-art bicycle routes and maps, leading unique bike tours and educational courses, publishing the award-winning Adventure Cyclist magazine, and working to improve conditions for bike travel. Offering 41,399 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network as well as extensive online and print resources, Adventure Cycling provides the resources that cyclists need to plan their own bike-travel adventures. Contact Adventure Cycling’s headquarters at (800) 755-BIKE (2453), firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.AdventureCycling.org.
Source: Winona Bateman